Jordan Bowman is a defensive back at California University of Pennsylvania. A standout among DII athletes, Jordan Bowman was a second team All American in 2015, and is primed for a breakout season. Bowman is the type of athlete that continues to get better; both his interceptions and total tackle numbers have improved every year, as have his tackles for loss. He broke out a bit with 62 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, and 5 interceptions in 2015. His career numbers are higher, with 11 interceptions, 129 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries over 32 games. Jordan Bowman is also an accomplished special teams player, scoring a beautiful touchdown on a blocked punt in 2014. He has the numbers and the talent for a strong 2016 season, and should put himself squarely on NFL draft boards this fall. We were lucky enough to have an opportunity to interview Mr. Bowman, and here it is. Questions in black, Jordan's answers in red.
Mr. Bowman, first of all, congratulations on an extremely successful 2015 season. You've improved every season as a college player. What is the key to your continued development?
My off season training and preparation for each season. Each year I train harder and understand what areas of my game to focus on. Also never settling and understanding that good is never good enough. There is always room for improvement.
What are some things you plan to work on this season? What can you do to become an even better player?
This season I’m working on becoming a better man to man defender, and also perfecting my blitzing. Skills that will help me excel at the next level.
What are some of your strongest points as a player? In your eyes, what makes you stand out compared to others at your position?
My intelligence is one of my strengths as a player, every time I step on field I’m the smartest player. Also my ability to make big plays in big games. I play my best when the stage is the biggest.
You've made an impact both on special teams and as a defensive back throughout your college. What positions have you played as a college player?
I’ve played SS, FS, and NK. And on special teams I can play any position depending on the week.
What are some of your favorite formations and defensive systems to play in?
I enjoy playing in a defensive scheme that is balanced, but also keeps the offense guessing. Having a good balance of blitzing, man, and zone.
Many college football fans are relatively unfamiliar with Division II football, even though guys like Ali Marpet have gone relatively high in the draft and players from your conference like John Kuhn, Andre Reed, and Brent Grimes have gone on to long and successful NFL careers. What are some things that make Division II football unique? What's it like playing in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference?
The PSAC is unique because it doesn’t get a lot of national attention and the funding isn’t anything to brag about. But the top teams in the PSAC have just as much talent as a handful of FCS schools and can compete with them yearly. Which makes the PSAC competitive but also disappointing with the lack of national exposure.
Who are some of your favorite players to watch in the NFL?
On Sundays I'll either be watching the Seahawks with Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman, or I’ll be watching the Cardinals Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson.
Who are some of your role models?
Two of my role models growing up were Kobe Bryant and my high school coach, Coach Linn. I learned how to be a competitor from Kobe, and Coach Linn helped me with a lot throughout high school.
What has been your biggest struggle as a player? Also, what has been the best moment of your career so far?
My biggest struggle as player has been the changing of coaches that has taken place throughout my career. I’ve had 3 different position coaches and 2 different defensive coordinators. The best moment of my career was when I won the Coal Bowl MVP my sophomore year after beating our rival IUP during the annual Coal Bowl.
What are some of your goals for the 2016 season?
My goal for the 2016 season is to do whatever is needed of me to be drafted, and to make it to the national playoffs with my team.
Are there any games in particular you are especially looking forward to this season?
Looking forward to playing our 2 biggest rivals Slippery Rock and IUP.
Looking forward to the 2017 NFL Draft, what would you tell professional scouts who may read this interview? What makes you stand out as a potential draft prospect, both as a player and as an individual?
As an individual scouts should know there is nothing they have to worry about regarding my character. But as I player I want scouts to know that I will do whatever it takes to become one of the greats, and I have the talent to do so.
Thank you for your time, Jordan! We look forward to watching your senior season as a California University of Pennsylvania Vulcan. Best of luck this season and in the future as an NFL draft prospect, and thank you for taking the time to talk with us! Mike Bertasso and Matt Koontz, Matt and Mike Sports.
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